Plaque to V. I. Lenin in Tavistock Place


I have an idea that English Heritage could never bring themselves to put up a plaque to Lenin, either because he’d never lived anywhere long enough or because he wasn’t very nice or both.  But now the Marchmont Association have included him among their local worthies to be commemorated.


In his book Russkiy London,  S. K. Romanyuk remarks:

In the second half of May 1908, Lenin came to London from Geneva for a short time to work on his book ‘Materialism and empiriocriticism’ in the library of the British Museum.  On this occasion, he sent the director of the museum a request for a reader’s ticket using his real name.  He used a reference (which was then required) from one D. D. Terret.   Who that might have been remains unclear, Lenin simply made him up, relying on the normal trustingness of the English.  But the administration decided to check all the same–no such person could be found, and they refused Lenin…On that occasion, Lenin had taken up residence at 21 [now 36] Tavistock Place.



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